I had just one encounter with Teel Bivins, the former state senator who died on Monday, but it made an impression on me.
It must have been 1988 or 1989 when he was running for state senate for the first time. It was a Saturday afternoon and the door bell rang. It was Bivins. Very friendly, he introduced himself, even though I knew who he was, and gave me a pamphlet or two.
"I'm just doing a little pol-i-tickin' this afternoon," he said. I still remember that intentional stretching of the word. We chatted for maybe a minute on the porch, and then he went on to the next house.
That struck me that a man running for state senate was just going door to door to introduce himself to the voters. It's the kind of campaigning at that level anyway that's seldom seen. I was struck by his sincereity as well as his manner. And for what it's worth, that little encounter more than anything earned my vote.
As has been mentioned by several across the state, Teel, because of his family, didn't have to go into public service, but we're all glad he did.